Selling a car

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Tips before selling your car

Be careful if a business offers to sell your car for you before they pay for it. 

A licensed motor car trader (LMCT) must pay you for your car (or provide a trade) before they try to sell it. 

Do not sign any document that transfers ownership of your car until you have received your payment or trade. 

If you have left your car with a business to sell on your behalf, and they won’t give you payment or the car back immediately, please contact us.


Trading in your car to a dealer for a new or used vehicle can be simpler than selling it privately. You will not have the expense of trying to find a buyer or having to hold on to your old car, possibly for a long time.

While a trade-in can be the quickest and least stressful way of selling your car, there are some disadvantages. The main one is that you may not get as much money for it as you would have if you were selling it privately. 

If you are trading in your old car, ask the trader to give you the total amount you will pay to leave it and drive away in another vehicle.

Private sale

You may get more for your old car if you sell it privately rather than trade it in. However, finding a buyer can take time, effort and advertising expense.

Try to find out your car’s market value by checking prices asked for similar models in a similar condition. Looking at advertisements on the internet, in newspapers and used car magazines can help you with this.

Once you have determined your car’s value, write an ad and choose a publication or website to place it in. Some print classifieds also place ads on the internet, which can be useful in reaching more potential customers. 

You must provide a Certificate of Roadworthiness that is less than 30 days old if you are selling a registered vehicle. 


You could consider offering your car for sale at a public auction, but note that an auction house may charge commission for selling your car. 

Auto parts recyclers (wreckers)

If your car is in extremely poor condition, you may wish to sell it to an auto recycler or wrecker. They may be able to collect your car from your home. We recommend you choose a licensed motor car trader to sell to.

Roadworthy certificate

If the car is registered, make sure you provide the buyer with a roadworthy certificate that is not more than 30 days old. This is a general safety check conducted by a licensed vehicle tester and is valid for 30 days from the date of issue. 

Transfer of registration

You should ensure the car you are selling is out of your name from the date of sale, so that you do not incur any of the buyer’s fines.

For this to happen, both you and the buyer must sign a 'transfer of registration' form. The buyer then sends the form and the roadworthy certificate you provide to VicRoads within 14 days of the sale. 

However, if you have any concerns, you can notify VicRoads of the transfer in writing. Be sure to enclose a copy of the transfer form. For more information, visit the Transfer a vehicle section of the VicRoads website.